Courage to Care is the latest effort to resolve a collection of paintings and artworks tied to Nazi Germany from Wollongong Art Gallery’s history.
A 2022 investigation into renowned Wollongong art donor Bronius ‘Bob’ Šredersas revealed he was a Nazi intelligence officer during the Second World War before immigrating to Australia in 1950 and concealing his identity.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the Šredersas collection, bequeathed to the Wollongong Art Gallery in 1977, allowed the Council to leverage education on the issue.
“Council resolved to educate people about the Holocaust situation, but then also the general issues around humanity and our need for people to speak up and make moral choices that lead to the betterment of humanity instead of the misery and the tragedy that unfold during the Second World War,” Mayor Bradbery said.
“The messaging is well presented in terms of highlighting those individuals who, in periods of great evil, stood up for things that are just and the protection of those who were being persecuted or disadvantaged.
“The Courage to Care people who have organised this certainly have curated it well.”
Courage to Care is a non-profit organisation that, through the telling of courageous stories from the Holocaust, inspire individuals to be an up-stander.
For over 20 years, the travelling exhibition has educated Australians about the dangers of prejudice, racism, and discrimination.
Curator of Courage to Care, Monty Callaghan, said he is motivated by the opportunity to impact the community positively.
“The idea behind it is to present these incredible stories of people who did amazing things during the tragic context of the Holocaust,” Mr Callaghan said.
“Often, people would risk their lives and their families’ lives to save or help save persecuted Jews.
“Sometimes these stories that we’re telling in the exhibition can just be as simple as encouraging the idea that small acts of kindness can really go a long way and that everyone has the capacity to make a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of others.”
The exhibition features audio-visual media, historical objects, educational content, and first-hand accounts from Holocaust survivors.
The Courage to Care exhibition is available at Wollongong Art Gallery until November 26th.